On the philosophy of reuse (plastic-free edition)
On the philosophy of reuse
(plastic free edition)
Plastic recycling is one of the basic principles of green living. To reduce waste in landfills and prevent environmental degradation, both environmental activists and occasional recyclers have adopted creative ways to recycle plastic. In many parts of the world, it is even required by law.
But there is a new perspective on the horizon, one that focuses on the root of the current global plastic consumption crisis: reuse. While recycling is committed to spending fewer resources and preventing items from reaching the landfill, reuse tries to reformulate the concept of “garbage”.
What is reuse, then, and how can it be put into practice for a plastic-free lifestyle? Reuse emphasizes products designed for multiple or unlimited use. It is not only a way to change our relationship with plastic and the environment, but it also has an effect on the economy and the concept of green life.
After all, nature constantly reuses its own resources. Here are five ways for you to do the same.
Reflect on consumption
Reuse is both a philosophy and a practice. When we recycle, we reduce the amount of garbage in landfills on land and at sea. However, the main problem is still our plastic consumption. Recycling is a solution that reacts against waste, and while it is a great measure, it still requires time, energy and resources.
Reusing is cheaper in terms of labor and requires fewer resources, which means we spend less and save more. Two great examples are aluminum water bottles and cloth napkins. Aluminum is a material that respects the planet since its production requires few resources. Furthermore, the bottles can be reused for years after they are produced. As for cloth napkins, they are easy to wash and are also available in a variety of environmentally friendly fabrics, such as bamboo, Tencel and linen.
Recycling is a solution that reacts against waste, and while it is a great measure, it still requires time, energy and resources.
Insist On Quality
From a reuse point of view, quality purchases are important as these products are designed to last a long time. Once again, reuse challenges our beliefs about consumption: we don't need to shop more often, but do it smarter.
Higher quality items last longer and also tend to be more earth friendly. For example, skin care products can be bought cheaply almost anywhere. However, it is one of the "dirtiest" industries when it comes to the consumption of plastics, the resources used for long-distance transportation and pollution during the manufacture of the product.
Opting for higher quality hygiene products reduces your environmental impact, and not necessarily at a higher price. As always, be sure to search for local producers.
Buying food in bulk
Most of the time, we bet on convenience and low price in our purchases. However, one of the easiest ways to adopt a reuse-based lifestyle is to buy food in bulk. Although not very common, it is one of the strongest reuse solutions.
Direct wholesaling minimizes plastic packaging and transportation by eliminating middlemen. As the products go directly to consumers, the prices are lower. Additionally, retailers that sell groceries in bulk encourage people to bring their own containers, minimizing single-use packaging at the retail level. [D / plastic packaging]
Buyers can use containers made of reusable materials such as glass, paper, aluminum, stainless steel, bamboo and beech wood to buy and store products such as cereals, fruits and vegetables, and also for liquids such as laundry detergent. clothes and dish soap.
Know the brands
Adopting a lifestyle based on reuse requires consumers to rethink their shopping habits, such as buying food in bulk. He also asks them to look a little more closely at the companies they buy from. Some brands strive to prioritize green living at every step, from production to transportation to packaging materials.
So what aspects of businesses should consumers pay attention to before purchasing a reusable product? First, you have to seek visibility into the supply chain, which must prioritize sustainable materials and renewable energy at all levels. Second, you have to be interested in the useful life of the product; How long will it last Remember that reuse emphasizes multiple or preferably unlimited use. Finally, look for transparency in companies: companies that are committed to reuse are proud of it.
Make an inventary
So far, we've talked about the philosophy of reuse, as well as some ways it can be applied on a day-to-day basis. But how can we be a little more precise when it comes to reuse, especially at home? It is much easier than most people think.
Here are five examples you can start applying today:
Bring your own glass or silicone containers to restaurants to take home leftovers
Instead of large plastic buckets, opt for woven material baskets for storage
Make your morning coffee at home with a reusable filter (stainless steel is a great option)
Opt for microfiber cloths for dusting, scrubbing, and polishing. You can also find it for make-up removal products
Swap cotton swabs for reusable silicone swabs